It was a normal day. I did my usual sound-dump of songs I’ve been recommended, sent, found, onto my phone (yes, I know, not exactly the way audio should be heard for the first time) and made my way home across london. For those of you not from our beautiful capital city, you may not know the particular sense of dread you get from stepping onto a tube at approx 5.30pm in Canary Wharf. It’s like that film ‘The Warriors‘ but the only gangs are ‘The Suits’ and their weapon of choice? Brylcreem covered Dre Beats. Now I have nothing against this particular brand of headphone, but the sound escape is incredible. It’s like being in a rainforest, as you just don’t quite know where the sound is coming from, but the nearer you get, the worse you feel. So I’m surrounded but the gentle tinny hiss of a thousand identikit guys who have just discovered Drake and I set my phone to shuffle. This is a mildly dangerous thing, as the music I tend to listen to is eclectic to say the least, but I suddenly realised that today wasn’t going to be like any other, today is the day I discovered OH VILLAGE. And so you can interact with this memory, listen to that very track ‘Give They Fears’ right now as you read on!
SO good. I did my usual OCD thing of listening to this track exactly 26 times in a row – just so I really knew I liked it (spoilers: I liked it) – and set about finding out more about this band I’d just discovered.
“CANADA?!” I said to nobody in particular, and as I waited for a reply that never came, I found out that OH VILLAGE consists of Scott Currie, David Dueckman, Matthew Jake Janzen and Stephen Dahl and they are from Abbotsford in British Columbia (Which, as you know, is the least religious province in Canada). I had just released a tape for the amazing Canadian, Dan Griffin (THE NEW BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN IMO) and I was more than a little jaded with the unique flourishes of the Canadian postal system, but that wasn’t nearly going to stop me. This is a little bit about them – from their official blurb – before I try to sell you a cassette tape.
Formed in the spring of 2011 while three of the members were still in high school, Oh Village began performing around the Fraser Valley solely for the love of music. Aspiring to create a full-length album with Abbotsford producer Steve Klassen, but being short on finances, Oh Village successfully crowd-funded $7000 in the spring of 2012 to fund their 9-track release, “Far Side of the Sea”. Released on August 8th, 2012, and followed by a western Canadian tour, the album was a remarkable achievement in the young band’s career.
The following months brought many opportunities as Oh Village began playing Vancouver venues such as The Biltmore, The Railway Club, The Media Club, The Red Room and The Roxy. A continual commitment to the artistry and power of music has caused the band to prosper and interest in Oh Village to grow.
The band’s most recent studio release – a 5-track EP entitled “To Rely” – is a further continuation of what has defined Oh Village as the driven, passionate group of musicians that they are. Approved for a FACTOR grant and recorded at Afterlife Studio in Vancouver, this EP is a truly creative work of art which communicates deep emotion and growth.
Oh Village crafts their sound using piano, drums, bass, guitar and vocal harmonies along with non-conventional instruments such as the cello, violin, and trumpet. The four friends have brought together their love for writing original music and their individual musical influences to create a down-to-earth sound that is both uniquely honest and completely inspired.
As with all the best bands, they said “YES” to my tape idea and the aforementioned 5-track EP “To Rely” was pressed up! You really have to listen to this tape in a proper deck. On a Nakamichi Dragon, this sounds like vinyl having a good day. You can listen to the rest of the tape below but then you should go ahead and buy it! You can buy it from the band too at their gigs, but if you want the digital tracks, you get a free download when you buy the tape, OR you can buy direct from the band’s bandcamp.
find out more about OH VILLAGE in these places: